Two-fifths of Britons believe buying a house with a partner is a bigger commitment than getting married, a survey has found.
Some 40% of people surveyed felt getting a joint mortgage was a bigger commitment than marriage, according to research from property website Zoopla.
On average, people who had bought a property together said they had been in a relationship for just over three years and three months before buying their home, the survey, released ahead of Valentine's Day on Tuesday, found.
Some 40% of women said they took the lead when it came to searching for properties, compared with 30% of men.
More than one third (34%) of men said they would trust their partner to put in an offer on a property without seeing it themselves, compared with less than one in five (19%) women.
Men were also more likely to say they would be willing to make compromises on what they wanted from a property to suit their partner's needs, with 79% of men saying they would do this compared with 60% of women.
More than a fifth (22%) of home owners said they had spent more than their original budget, with the average over-spend at £10,385. Men were more likely to say they were responsible for the over-spend than women.
Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, suggested that before searching for a property together, couples should make key decisions together, such as the budget, location and the level of renovation work they were willing to put into a property.
He said: "Being on the same page from the outset will take pressure off your search, avoid time wasting and - most important of all - arguments."
More than 1,800 people took part in the survey, including more than 1,300 people who had bought a home jointly with someone else.